The first week or so after the holidays have always been problematic for me. A combination of the failure of the festivities to live up to the hype and my reluctance to return back to the working grind have me usually in a poor mood even before the holiday is officially over. Why couldn’t I get as much enjoyment out of the holidays as others seemed to? This has gotten better in the last few years though as I have matured in recovery. Just as I have found in other areas of my life, the less I make things about me the more my quality of life improves. During the holiday season the giving spirit might come natural to many, but the egocentric, selfish ways of my alcoholic past were not simply erased by sobriety and are something I have to consciously battle on a daily basis. But when I do win, and I am able to act in a selfless manner- the rewards are plentiful.
For so many years I tried unsuccessfully to find joy in my life, to somehow sate that craving, the hole that I could never fill. Now I know I was looking in the wrong place. It is still counterintuitive to me and maybe as a recovering alcoholic it will always be, but I found that I get so much more out of life by giving first. Fortunately, this behavior and the method of introspective thinking that must accompany it becomes easier with practice.
So what is my recovery revelation? It is absolutely critical that I not fall back into my old self centered and selfish ways- so I must practice love and support of others 24/7. That means that I should try to stay in the holiday spirit year round regardless of the date, it’s part of my recovery.